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More men becoming single fathers than ever before

More men becoming single fathers than ever before

Illinois fathers may be interested to learn that, in the last 50 years, the number of households with minor children that are headed by single fathers has risen to 2.6 million from just the fewer than 300,000 in 1960. In a study that was recently released, it was revealed that approximately eight percent of such households were run by single fathers in 2011, compared to one percent in 1960.

This trend has come about in part due to a shift in how the courts view fathers. Traditionally, it was thought that placing the child with their mother was in the best interest of that child. However, the courts are turning towards shared custody agreements, which allow fathers to have more of an impact in their child's life.

Because the attitudes have changed when it comes to the idea of a father raising his children, many fathers are now seeking to have more time when the ex-couple heads to court over child custody. However, many couples are also finding that sharing custody is very difficult and requires communication and a willingness to agree to where to live as the child eventually will have to go to school. Because of this, many couples actually would prefer to have one parent have physical custody over trying to figure out how to split the time with their child evenly.

When divorcing spouses have a dispute over child custody or child support agreements, the court generally keeps the best interest of the child in mind. An attorney may be able to help a client negotiate with the other party in as amicable a way as possible.

Source: The Atlantic , "The Rise of the Single Dad", Caroline Kitchener , February 24, 2014

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